Finimize CEO & Co-Founder: Maximilian Rofagha

Summary

In this episode, we hear from Finimize CEO & Co-Founder, Maximillian Rofagha.  He grew up in Berlin, Germany, attended a very diverse, international high school, and went on to study economics and international relations in Scotland.  He did a year abroad in the U.S., and interned at eBay, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey and Company, and a German Stock Exchange.  After college, he worked in management consulting for a year and half before starting his first business.  3 and half years later, he started Finimize, a company that was sparked by a movement, a community of people that believe everyone should have access to financial information that is not complicated to understand.  Today, Finimize is building the world’s largest and most engaged finance community, democratizing financial information for people who need it most.

Headquartered in London, Finimize has amassed a community of over 1 million people from all over the world.

Podcast Transcript

Note:  There may be errors to this transcript (some funny, some confusing - we used an automated transcription software!)

Maximilian Rofagha  00:00

Like 50 people showed up. And we were completely overwhelmed by how many people actually showed up. And we did it again and more people showed up and we started hosting these meetups in London where like 100 200 300 people start showing up.

Ash Faraj  00:14

Hey, it's ash here, and you're listening to the ExecuTalks podcast. It's the top career podcasts featuring inspiring career stories of today's top CEOs, executives and leaders. Are you looking to start a podcast, create a website or produce a video, we would love to help you can email me directly at ash at executalks.com and depending on what you're looking for, we can either help you or put you in touch with the right people. In this episode, we hear from Finimize, CEO and co founder Maximilian Rofagha, he grew up in Berlin, Germany, attended a very diverse international high school and went on to study economics and international relations in Scotland. He did a year abroad in the US and interned at eBay, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey and Company and a German Stock Exchange. After college, he worked in management consulting for a year and a half before starting his first business. Three and a half years later, he started Finimize, a company that was sparked by a movement, a community of people that believed everyone should have access to financial information that is not complicated to understand. today Finimize is building the world's largest and most engaged finance community democratizing financial information for people who need it most headquartered in London, Finimize has amassed a community of over 1 million people from all over the world.  He was listed on Forbes 30, under 30, just five years ago, and is currently building the world's largest finance community. Today, I am joined by Maximilian Rofagha. Finimize, founder and CEO. Welcome to the show. Thank you for being here today.

Maximilian Rofagha  01:51

Thanks for having me.

Ash Faraj  01:51

So the first question we'll start off with is I'm going to high school classroom with you, Max, who are you?

Maximilian Rofagha  01:56

think pretty similar to what I am today, I was quite I did quite well at school, put a lot of effort and energy into doing whatever I'm doing and doing it well. I had a curious sides, specifically around the sort of technology space. So I was the kid in high school who had a website was like, back in the day, one of the first kids to have a website didn't really have any content to put on there. And so I took a book that I owned, that had Bart Simpson jokes in it, and I typed all the Bart Simpson jokes. And I publish it on my website, just because, exactly.

Ash Faraj  02:29

So where did you grow up?

Maximilian Rofagha  02:30

I grew up in Berlin, in Germany, I grew up in a family. My mom is German. And my dad, which is why I have my last name is originally Iranian. He came to Germany as a teenager, and learn the language and all that stuff, and is an entrepreneur himself. And I think a lot of the spirit of being an entrepreneur is something that I got exposed to early on, living in a household of entrepreneurs, and grew up in a in the, for those of you who remember history, the American sector in Berlin, which is why I have this American slang. And so, you know, I played baseball, I went to a high school that was half American. And so I had American teachers, I learned English pretty early on. But was really cool was like, probably the most international experience that I've had in my life, probably, you know, like, if you think about like international schools, it's typically wealthy kids who go who go there. And our school, you had the kids, literally, their parents were in social welfare, all the way to kids, where the parent was the US ambassador in Germany, who had like bodyguards walking around with him. And you had this like, crazy mix of social backgrounds. And that's, I think, interesting, the highlight for me, because when I went to university, I found like, that was super International. But everybody had the same social background. And in my, in my elementary in high school, it was so diverse. And I think that was a really, really precious experience for me.

Ash Faraj  04:15

What did you do after high school?

Maximilian Rofagha  04:18

I went to go study in, in Scotland, in St. Andrews, where the apparently golf was born in St. Andrews, that's what it's famous for. And then it has a university. Those are the two things that has as the oldest golf course in the world, and I studied economics and international relations there. And I did one year abroad in the US at a college there in Virginia. And then I did that for four years, and then I graduated and while I was in while I was in college, I explore different avenues that took philosophy classes and really got into economics, which kind of, I would say, then push me down more the business route and one of the things That I always sort of say is like when you're when you're a college, you go to these careers fairs, and it's like consulting firms and banks and big corporations. And they're always like, Hey, you need to work with us. And, and I think then I got exposed to that world, I started doing some internships over the summer at these places, which is fun, but realize that that really wasn't what I wanted to do in my life. And in my final year, at college, I did an internship at eBay, back in the day, that really sparked my interest in online products. Coming back to that website story that I told you about. I remembered how much I enjoyed the digital space, the digital product creation, and that would then lead me to sort of reroute my career plans and go more down the the startup and online space path.

Ash Faraj  05:53

Okay. So, you know, you had, like you mentioned, you had a lot of internship experiences during college. And eBay was, that was the experience that you felt, you know, had had more of an impact than the others? Or is there a particular experience that you feel like, like, either negatively or positively like, Man, this has a really, this really impacted, you know, how I kind of made my next moves.

Maximilian Rofagha  06:16

I worked at Deutsche Borse, which is the the German Stock Exchange, that was a lot of fun. That was like my first exposure to to all that world, the finance world. Again, there, I tried to do a really good job. So I think I was, I took this course, because if you're, if you're an employee of the German Stock Exchange, you can take a course, and take an exam to become a licensed broker. And, and I was like, you know, I'm here, I was, like, 20 at the time, but I'm here, I have access to this. And so I just studied, study for the exam after my internship days, and I took the exam, and I just barely passed it. And so I think I was like, probably one of the youngest people in in Germany to have a broker license, which I never did anything with. But yeah, that's, you know, when I, when I go into something, I love to just make the most out of it.

Ash Faraj  07:11

So after college, you know, I'm sure you had multiple offers, and you had all these wide range of experiences, what made you decide to go work in management, consulting, and have all the experience of, you know, all the paths you could have went, I guess,

Maximilian Rofagha  07:22

what happened in eBay was, number one, I realized that I love the online world. Because you can be really quick in what you do, there's a lot of way to test stuff, etc. But I also noticed that everybody who was a, in a leadership role at eBay, had worked at a consulting firm before. And at that time, you know, I was, I was very interested in becoming an entrepreneur. But I was more interested in working in the online in the online world than becoming an entrepreneur, there's sort of a hierarchy. And so I was like, okay, you know, if I want to work in the space, then I guess, becoming a consultant first seems like the route that all of these people here have gone down. And so I applied to consulting firm that was specialized on technology, media and telecommunications sectors. It was really cool. But you know, the reality is like, number one, I started to realize that I would do want to do something myself. And a funny anecdote is one of the partners there. He was doing a lot of deals, and a lot of projects in the financial services space, and I was an analyst for him. And I was like, you know, what, like, why don't we just spin off? You know, you have all the clients, I'm doing all the work anyway. Why don't we get a couple of analysts and we'll just do our own consulting firm, we do a spin off. And we would like meet in a cafe around the corner and like, have this secretive talks about it. And I think he was, you know, consultants, by nature often are a bit more risk averse. And so I think he was a bit more hesitant. And maybe he would have done it, but I think I very quickly realized like, I actually don't want to be consultant like, this doesn't bring me a lot of excitement in my life. And so basically, I did this for like a year, and, and then I quit, and then I started my first company. So this is the only year in my entire career that I've ever had a boss.

Ash Faraj  09:17

So, you know, nine years like I was nine years ago today, I think it was 2012 when he did that. You'd like you mentioned you had only been working for a year and then you decided, I guess you know what move the first question I have is what moved you to start your own company because I imagine you know, you were in consulting it was you probably making good money like it wasn't you weren't you was that was

09:36

not necessarily the money. I mean, like if you're an early if you're like, number one, if you're a junior consultant, you're actually not making that much money, but you're doing all the work. But for me, it wasn't really about the money that like I just found myself getting really bored. work and I was like, you know, looking forward to the end of the day and like Now, like I have not had that feeling since I started. becoming an entrepreneur. I've never ever thought, oh my god, I wish it was the end of the day now, like never. And I think if you're working for someone, you have that feeling. And so sometimes you have that feeling at least. And so I think that was like a psychological thing. And then the other thing is like, I've, I've been like dabbling and tinkering around with different ideas with a friend of mine, from high school. And we we had all like a complete broad spectrum of ideas that we were exploring, and none of them really stuck. And one day then he was like, Hey, you know, I'm involved now with some other guys. We want to start an e commerce business based out of Zurich, because that's where they were living at the time. Do you want to just join us? And then we'll do this as our company? And I said, Yeah, 100%. So moved to Zurich. And just got into it.

Ash Faraj  10:56

Tell me a little bit about the strategy behind DeinDeal your very beginning, you guys get that as soon as we are talking about it?

Maximilian Rofagha  11:02

Yes. Yes, yes. So Originally, it was a daily deal business. So we, we sold coupons like Groupon. That was the day when there was like Living Social Groupon, all these platforms, the heyday of couponing. And that was like a really viral business model that allowed us to grow incredibly fast. And very quickly, though, we then realized that that wasn't sustainable. And we needed to actually invest more in the other side of the business, which we had, which was our property, commerce business. And I was mostly also involved in the e commerce business. And the e commerce business, was essentially taking those users that we had acquired through the daily deal model, and then cross selling to them, products that we ourselves had, in our inventory that we had in our warehouse, we build our full supply chain. And, and that then was really good, because as we then you know, history has shown that the Groupon model wasn't a durable one. And we transition, you know, now, I think there's maybe I don't know the exact numbers, but but a bit, a very small chunk of the revenue that the company makes a day is from daily deals. And the vast, vast, vast majority comes from the e commerce business. And the strategy was, we were multi category, we essentially sold you anything that you can imagine, but everything was at a discount. So you could buy electronics, you could buy furniture, you could buy fashion, you could buy sports, you could buy sex toys, you can buy anything with us. Yeah. But it always came at a discount. That was a strategy. And that made us one of the largest e commerce players in the country.

Ash Faraj  12:52

Yeah. And I think one of the awards you won was like the best online shop in Switzerland. And then, you know, eventually, I don't know, maybe a couple years, few years merged with the bigger company. I guess, looking back first question is, what do you feel like enabled because not all businesses succeed So what, what do you feel like enabled you guys to succeed to be, you know, to get so much traction with this venture?

Maximilian Rofagha  13:16

I think number one is we had an incredible team. You know, I've now gone on to do minimize other folks, from the founding team, they've gone on to build some of the largest startups that are out there, one of them is a massive insurance company, multi billion dollar business. And a lot of really great companies have been built within Switzerland. So really, really good team. And then I think, you know, we we did some good strategic moves, like I said, moving away from pure couponing towards property commerce. moving really fast. And, you know, Frank, frankly, also just being taking the momentum that was there in the market. You know, at that time, people were really into coupons. And so we were there and we, we retry retry to make the most of it.

Ash Faraj  14:09

Do you feel like your, your time as a consultant contributed to good strategy? Would you say or no,

Maximilian Rofagha  14:16

not content wise, but that I think, structurally and and conceptually. I think, for example, one of the things that I had that I think others on the team didn't have was I had a very structured and analytical mindset, that I think when you're consultant you get taught that and, and I think that was a really good combination, also in the skill sets that the team had.

Ash Faraj  14:43

So you know, also, you know, the other thing is a lot of people don't see the struggles that it took. So I just, I was just curious to hear, you know, maybe what was the worst moment while you were building a dying deal or like, you know, was there a particular day you remember like, that was a really rough day or rough moment in time.

Maximilian Rofagha  15:00

You know, I was like in my early 20s at the time. So we had a lot of energy. And we just worked. Like, literally just work 24. Seven, we worked on the weekends, it was, I lived with one of my co founders.

Ash Faraj  15:16

I think, yeah, when you guys were living together, it's like, you're just working mode all the time.

Maximilian Rofagha  15:22

Which can be good, but it can also be exhausting after a couple years, and you need to, like take a step off the gas. So I think that overall, there was just like, a lot of energy that went into this, which, frankly, you know, now that I've done this for a couple years, it's not work hard work, it's work smart, probably could have been a bit faster and a bit more thoughtful. But you know, you're young, and you're learning. I think the other thing that was really hard was, there was a time when we realize Damn, like, we're we're a bit low on cash here. And what and the investors that we had weren't so keen on pumping in a lot more money. And so we had to really get into the weeds of the business, cut costs wherever we could, you know, cash flow management, like postponing, paying suppliers, etc. And, unfortunately, had to do quite a lot of layoffs. And that was pretty, pretty, pretty tough, because I've literally invited people into meeting room for like, a day or two and just everybody likes, I'm really sorry. Like, we have to let you go. And, and some of these people were my friends. So it was, it was really, really difficult. That was probably the most difficult part.

16:44

Thanks for listening to ExecuTalks. We've been thinking about it. And we thought it'd be a good idea to start a discord community for any interested audience members to join, just search ExecuTalks when looking for a server and you'll find a big yellow E. Thanks for listening. Now back to the episode.

Ash Faraj  16:57

So eventually, you decided to quit your job. Eventually, you you, you merged with with with with a different company merged with another company. And you decided to quit that job. I think it became a job after that. And you've maybe felt like it became a job after that. And then so you decided to quit? How did you know it was time to quit that venture? And then what was the first thing you did after you quit?

Maximilian Rofagha  17:20

I don't think there was like a day where it was like, Okay, I just made up my mind to quit, I think it was more like a gradual feeling. That overcame, I think, to be completely honest, I don't have a massive passion or inspiration for selling products online. It's a pretty it's a pretty transactional business that you don't wake up, or, you know, I think some people do. Personally, I don't wake up in the mornings and get super excited to sell more products. But I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to do something that actually was super, super mission driven, was very product focused, and could leave a real dent in a small part of the world. And I just didn't feel like, you know, selling products online did that. Other people might feel differently. That's how I felt. And that was, I think, a big, big motivation to leave.

Ash Faraj  18:24

Now, you quit. And that was the first thing you do after you quit.

Maximilian Rofagha  18:28

I went to California for like three weeks. But I think I was still officially working. It was it was just a long holiday. Yeah. And I did the whole like touring the the West Coast, in a in a car that was really fun. But to be completely honest, I had been working on finna mice already, while I was still working at dine, do I as a side project, I was kind of just doing it just for fun just to see if it's if if it can go anywhere. And so when I when I quit, you know, I just continued doing that. And had a lot more free time. Just continue doing that. And then you know, at the end of sort of, I think in August 2016 founded the company that then turned from a sort of side project into a company. So there was a there was not like a clear cut. It was a very smooth transition, if you will

Ash Faraj  19:25

starting Finimize, from what I from what I've read is was started because of a personal problem you had and I think you had some cash savings and you weren't sure what to do with it. I guess take us through from the very beginning. The Finimize origin story like how Finimize came about.

19:42

What I had been doing was I took money every month from my salary when I was working at dine deal. And I automated a transfer that would take money from my salary, automatically put it onto a savings account so that I wouldn't touch it. And I would build up savings. And I did this for months and months and months, one day, looked at my savings account and realize, okay, there's a significant saving now here, what do I do with it? Because if I looked at the interest rate that I was getting from the bank, it was basically like I was losing money against inflation. So I was like, Okay, I need to do something with it. And I went to go see a financial advisor. And it was this really lovely lady. And what happened was, I walked into the room, and she had laid out the brochures onto the table. And it just clicked with music. Okay, like this is actually going to be sales pitch, she's going to now try and sell me those brochures, ultimately, because it was all their products. And I knew, okay, this is not everything that it could be doing. Why is she not showing me everything else. And so I was, it was, it was pretty apparent to me very quickly that like, this is not the right solution for me. And so I went back home, and I just tried to educate myself, you know, there's a lot of resources out there. And I found it really, really difficult to wrap my head around, even though I studied economics, and what would then happen is that I would, in the evenings, would go and meet friends for dinner for drinks or whatever, a lot of them were working in finance. And so I just would bombard them with all these questions that I had from myself education about throughout the day. And what in parallel kept happening was, I kept bumping into people who were in a similar position to me, they had some savings, they didn't really know what to do with them. And but what they didn't have is this community around them, of people who could inform and educate them, and empower them to make the right decisions. And so that was kind of the Genesis moment for minimize, and I started to think a bit more, right, you know, how can we solve this, etc. And then came up with this mission, that I want to empower people to become their own financial advisors. Because what I realized was like, all this is, is information. And there is a information as symmetry that's artificially created by the finance guys, where they are withholding information from you because it's either you can't even access it, or it's just incredibly expensive for you to get your hands on. And so as well, you need them to tell you what to do. And, you know, I'm convinced that such information as symmetries will not sustain in an age of information technology. It's just it's, it's not going to happen. There's a million other examples where these information, symmetries for eradicated and at the end, the consumer wins. And so

Ash Faraj  22:46

Yeah like, we have Expedia, we have, information. It's kind of democratized but not in finance.

Maximilian Rofagha  22:51

Exactly. Like if you think about back in the day, you have to go the travel agent, the travel agent will tell you what to do. Here's your trip. Okay, now give me fee, Expedia, kayak, Priceline, those guys came along said, Hey, you actually don't need a travel agent. You don't need to pay them. You can just do it directly with us. It's the same information.

Ash Faraj  23:09

Same thing with real estate, you got Redfin or Zillow?

Maximilian Rofagha  23:12

Exactly, exactly.

Ash Faraj  23:13

Finance is just so I think, I think maybe it's meant to be that way, because finance professionals make so much money being that kind of middle person.

Maximilian Rofagha  23:20

Yeah. And I mean, you see these things like, you look at some of these, like data providers, for example, I mean, the amount of money that they want to charge you just to get access for you to get access to certain data set, which is an Excel sheet that they have somewhere. It's ludicrous. This this this this event that happened when you when you you know when to kind of wanted to invest your savings. That event happened while you were at nine deal. Yeah, I think No, I actually was while while I was there,

Ash Faraj  23:50

so while you were there that kind of like sparked like it kind of like you kind of had a light bulb in your in your head and it kind of but it didn't kind of really crystallize until like, maybe a year later. So it kind of just stayed on your mind for a while. And then all of a sudden, then that's

24:04

Yeah, I think I think originally what happened was, I was like, at the time, I think that the year started. And I was like, Okay, I want to do two things. I want to run a marathon. And I want to read the Financial Times or The Wall Street Journal every single day, because I felt like that's gonna help inform me and make me realize what I can be doing with my money. I ended up running like two marathons that year. And I stopped reading the Financial Times, like three months in to the year I thought that was very telling. And so for me, the starting point was alright, you know, what can we build in order to help people understand what's happening in the financial markets in a way that you don't stop after three months, so it has to be bite sized because I don't have either I don't have the time or I don't have the nerve to spend an hour a day or two hours a day reading this. Back to Back And the other thing that it was is like, even if even when I was reading it would oftentimes I just didn't understand what they're talking about. And if that if I did understand what they were talking about, I was left with this question. Alright, cool. So what do I do with this now? Like, why do I care? And that gave life to, you know, these three questions that we always answer in our in our content? What's going on? What is what does it mean, and why should you care? And that was the starting point.

Ash Faraj  25:27

Yeah, the ambiguity in finance. is crazy. So so you know, now you're almost five years in, right? Maybe you're five years? What do you feel like has been the greatest challenge? You know, in the context of building building Finimize,

Maximilian Rofagha  25:43

I think, number one, just always, talent is like, the biggest thing is, like, you're just constantly looking for the best people out there. I would say maybe the other challenge that we always encounter is, we're creating a completely new category of product. We don't really have people who are doing anything that we're doing, like, like we're doing. And so as a result, we need to educate and inform the market and the end consumer quite a bit. And so that's always a hard challenge. It's what I think keep stuff exciting. Because you're genuinely building something new and something innovative. But you got to do way more customer education, then perhaps if you launch a bank, or if you launch an online shop.

Ash Faraj  26:37

Yeah. So you know, one thing that I realized about you seems like you're really good at, you're really great at community building is essentially what you're a community builder, right? So if I'm coming to you, with no experience, you know, mid 20s, young 20s, no experience never built the community before. But I want to build my own niche community sailing, like, you know, cooking, or, you know, sports or whatever. Or some other topic, how would you advise me on building like a massive, loyal community,

Maximilian Rofagha  27:06

it was never the business plan, it was never the strategy to build a community. And I, up until getting into Finimize, I had zero experience building a community. What happened though, was I set, I set the tone and injected DNA into our organization and culture that allowed our community to grow and to exist and to thrive. And what happened was basically one of the one of the takeaways actually, from the from the online retail experiences, really, making sure that you are focused on the Net Promoter Score, measuring customer satisfaction, and making sure that you treat your customers well, like that was the thing that we really focused on in the e commerce business. And so I took a couple of those principles, and I applied it to minimize and so from day one, people who subscribe to our free products, I was like, we need to treat these people like they are VIPs. And we would not wish to send them gifts, handwritten notes, we would go to their office and bring them coffee and cake. And we would like in our weather news, we have a newsletter. And in the newsletter, we would like shine a spotlight on one of our community members, we would do a lot of these things to make sure that these people felt like VIPs. And so I think that set the tone that laid the groundwork. And what happened then was that we went to go one day, we're like, Let's meet some some of these people. And we met in a pub. And like 50, people showed up. And we were completely overwhelmed by how many people actually showed up. And we did it again. And more people showed up and we started hosting these meetups in London, were like 100 200 300 people start showing up. And people then this is then what started the community, people then sort of reaching out to us to sort of say, Oh, this is incredible. Can you do this in Seattle? Can you do this in Sydney, can you do this in Berlin. And we started getting so many requests that we said, you know, we can't possibly fly around the world hosting meetups. And so we developed a playbook. And we now teach our community members to host meetups all over the world. And they now become an extension of our brand, etc. And so so I think at the end of the day, to answer your question, you need to have a you need to have the DNA, right, that allows the community to to flourish to to exist because I think it's, I think sort of like creating a community just because you decided you want to create a community, I think, I don't know if that's going to work. And there has to be some sort of an organic component here. But the second and the second piece is we we were very, very I'm strict about who can be a community host, for example, because we knew that's going to be representation and an extension of our brand. And if that person creates a crap experience for some of our other members, that's going to reflect poorly on us. And so we were very sort of curated on it, we didn't just leave it completely open, like, for example, like Reddit, you know, anybody can go there. And it's a different, it's a different model that works for them. And we decided to be a bit more curated and a bit more, a bit more. restrictive, I guess, is, for lack of a better word, I think you need to have a really strong purpose. You know, every community in the world has a purpose. That's kind of the definition of a community. Yeah, it's people coming together around a shared purpose. And the reason why people in our instance, are so engaged, and you know, go beyond anything that's expected of them. We have people in India who literally went on a road shows through India to host meetups completely on their own initiatives. And the reason why people do this, we do not pay them, we do not give them any kind of other incentives. They do this because they fundamentally believe in the mission that we have, which is exactly this, this problem set that I was describing earlier that we were discussing around, you know, unleashing this information that's currently held behind closed doors of the finance industry and unleashing that into the public and putting it into the hands of the end consumers. And so I think that is a major major driver for building a community,

Ash Faraj  31:39

you got to believe in something. And then when you have other people that believe in it, they're willing to do anything. Something I look for when I decide to partner with someone or hire someone is

Maximilian Rofagha  31:56

either hustle or drive. And if I can just elaborate on what I mean by that, I think some of the best people that that that I've seen, and some of the best people that we've hired are people who have side hustles. I think oftentimes employers get scared by that. I think it's great if somebody has a side hustle, because shows that they are entrepreneurial, proactive. And a lot of times you actually get a lot of interesting learnings that you can feed back into the organization,

Ash Faraj  32:27

the most important quality in a leader is

Maximilian Rofagha  32:29

there's, there's a framework that I love, which has three components. And it's not just one, so forgive me, a good leader needs to have a plan in your head. So head is the first component heart is the second component, you need to have conviction that that's the right plan, and then hand, you need to be able to actually execute it, it's great that you have the strategy and you believe in it. If you can't execute it, then you're not a good leader.

Ash Faraj  32:58

Something I've personally struggled with as a leader has been,

Maximilian Rofagha  33:01

I love being operational. That's what I get my joy out of like I love working on the product, or I love working on the sales or the or the content, whatever it is, I love, I love the operational stuff. So I think I'm very good with with with the hand part very naturally. Although I'm a very strategic and analytical thinker, sometimes you can get lost in the day to day whirlwind. And I need to pull myself out. And just really make sure that that plan is is strong and thoughtful.

Ash Faraj  33:34

Something that I do to make sure I stay productive and feel positive is

Maximilian Rofagha  33:38

to very recent thing that I started doing. Because I read a book, which I'm sure a lot of people have read so far, I just came across it, called Deep work from Cal Newport, I believe is the same. The whole concept is getting rid of distraction and deeply getting into work in order for you to give your brain a chance to actually think. And so just to give one example of what I've changed is I have a slot in my calendar in the mornings where I do email. And for the rest of the day, I just closed my email I don't I try not to look at it at it.

Ash Faraj  34:12

If I were to go back and talk to my younger self in my mid 20s, I would tell myself,

Maximilian Rofagha  34:17

go with the flow. I think a lot of these things happen and you can't really plan them. You know, oftentimes, when you're young and you're ambitious, you have a lot of things that you want to achieve, and you sort of put a life plan together reality is like, it's never gonna happen. There's always gonna be something else that's going to come up, I would have never thought that I would have gotten into the retail business, I would have never thought that I would have gotten into financial media business. And here I am having done both of those things. And I think a lot of these opportunities if you just say yes to them, one opportunity opens another opens the door to another one and so forth and so forth. And so I think if you go with the flow and You're having a good time and you're enjoying it, then there's not really that much that you can do wrong.

Ash Faraj  35:04

One setback or failure in my early 20s. I will never forget is

Maximilian Rofagha  35:09

I would probably say wasn't Yeah, it wasn't, it was within it was within this experience of, of having to let go of having quite a few redundancies within the company. That was obviously a setback for me personally, and for the company that, you know, left scars, a war scar.

Ash Faraj  35:30

On a more positive note, the sweetest moment I felt in my entire career

Maximilian Rofagha  35:34

so far was when, when I started to see this community that we talked about emerge. And I was like, because it was a very magical moment, because like I said, I hadn't planned it. And as I witnessed it unfold in front of my eyes. I was, it was a very magical moment, and I knew, okay, this could be something really, really cool here. And how to add a magical feel to it.

Ash Faraj  36:01

Obviously, I have a long career ahead of me. But looking forward, if I could be remembered for just one thing. It would be

Maximilian Rofagha  36:10

I would love to be remembered for someone who builds really good products that people love to use, that people get joy and value and utility out of and be remembered as someone who understands and empathizes with with the end user.

Ash Faraj  36:27

What about on a personal note? Is it different,

Maximilian Rofagha  36:29

you know, just being a being a good human being to be around?

Ash Faraj  36:33

Last one is if I were stranded on an island and I had access to one meal, that meal would be

Maximilian Rofagha  36:38

I love pizza. So probably has to be pizza.

Ash Faraj  36:42

Thank you so so much for listening to this episode today. Now if you enjoyed this episode, please please teachers three seconds to leave us a very quick rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you're listening right now. It means the world to us. We hope you join us again next time. Take care